June 2016

Terminally ill pensioner, 74, could die in prison after being jailed for sexual abuse of girl


A terminally ill pensioner could die in prison after being jailed for four years for historic sex abuse.

Adrian Smith has a lung condition, cancer and heart disease and a life expectancy of two to three years.

The 74-year-old, of St Barnabas Close, Warmley, denied wrongdoing but was convicted by a jury of two indecent assaults on a youngster aged eight.

Judge Euan Ambrose told him: “The offences were when she was young and at a vulnerable and profoundly formative part of her life.

“They had significant effects on her life. A sentence of significant length may be one from which you would not emerge.”

Smith was told to register as a sex offender indefinitely. The court heard Smith put his hand inside the girl’s underwear and groped her.

She recalled how it “felt horrible”, and remembered his breathing and staring at wallpaper hoping the abuse would end.

She recounted a second incident in which Smith groped her again, but stopped when the crack of a floorboard heralded someone coming.

The offences caused her to have significant issues trusting people, the court heard, and led her to be especially protective of her own children.

Jennifer Tallentire, defending, said her client’s wife left him when she heard about the allegations. She said her client had to deal with physical as well as emotional challenges.

Miss Tallentire said: “He is as much as he can be prepared. He has a lung condition and he is in the last phase of his life.

“She was undoubtedly vulnerable at the time in her life.”

Investigating officer Det Con Louise Macpherson said: “Adrian Smith was predatory in his offending and took advantage of time he spent alone with the victim.

“He refused to accept responsibility for his actions and the harm he caused this victim and she was forced to relive her horrific experiences in court.

“We’ll always investigate sexual offences no matter how long ago they were committed and as this case proves, we’re able to achieve justice for victims of non-recent offences.

“I’d like to thank the victim for her bravery and for supporting the investigation from the start and while she’ll never get over her ordeal, I hope this conviction will help her move forward with her life.”